Archive for Zapak

Mass among the Niche

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India, Internet with tags , , , on July 15, 2008 by manuscrypts

An interesting post here sparked off an even more interesting discussion on twitter, which made me think about online entities’ relationship with mass media in general.

The above post talked specifically about the 2 gaming entities –  zapak and games2win and their contrasting styles. What interested me was the part about the surge that happened (in number of users) when zapak started using mass media for brand visibility, and the fact that a few months later, G2W is catching up, without having used mas media.

So, the question I’d like to pose is how relevant is mass media to pure play online entities, say an Ibibo or Seventymm for example. It is increasingly becoming a trend for offline entities whether it be media companies or cola giants or watches to have an online presence. While social media and the search for conversations have played their part in recent times, this need to be online started way back from the time that plain vanilla banners and site takeovers became available. This could be mainly due to the understanding that a filtered and discerning audience exists on the net, and this audience is quite likely to be an early adopter and an influencer in his peer group. But does it also work the other way around?

At this juncture, we have an internet penetration figure of 4.5%, but in absolute numbers it is about 49 million net users. ( Juxt Consult 2008 ) Thats quite a good number.  But yes, compared to the total population, it is fair to think that we miles to go. Perhaps that makes online brands look for offline brand visibility, to get the scale that they seek. But will it work the way it did for zapak?  A surge during advertising and then a drop, which clearly means that they got the ‘wrong’ kind of users, which necessarily means spillage.

Going forward, the net will become increasingly fragmented. Services and products would start catering to the niche and the long tail would really be exploited to the hilt, online. It would also become easier for new users to figure out how to get what they need on the net. In such a scenario, how relevant would a presence in mass media (in the form of advertising or content or any other association) be for a pure play online entity? As an awareness creator? But once the guy is online, wouldn’t he come to you anyway if you’ve done your work online well?

Having said that, it makes sense for say, a Holiday IQ or even a makemytrip to be present in say, an NDTV Good Times or a Discovery Travel & Living. There are great ways to work in sync. The other scenario is where you have a direct competitor and the service/product that is being offered is for mass consumption, so mass media gives you the additional advantage. The third and last option I can think of is when the service/product being offered has so much of potential that a no internet user is dragged online.

But in general, if the net is going to be conversation based with WOM and specific user communities playing a major role, then the efforts and money would be better spent online than offline. Would love to have your view on this, as always. 🙂

until next time, organic offline and inorganic online?

There’s a little bit of social networking in….

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India, Internet, Social networking with tags , , , , on March 14, 2008 by manuscrypts

For all those who’ve been good and watching TV, the source of that one should be a lollipop. There are some 4-5 ads of AOL doing the rounds, which you really couldn’t have missed. What’s the context? Well, i read here, that AOL is buying out Bebo for $850 million. Oops, I should’ve told you to hold on to something. Bebo is UK’s #2 social networking site (after Facebook) with a claimed base of 40 million users. Put this in perspective with the eyes  that popped when Desi Martini was picked up for $10 million. I really woudnt be able to offer any intelligence on the valuation, so lets stick to the core competency of this blog – brand +internet.

Now, Indian online entities have picked up this strange habit of using the reach of TV to sell the concept of email. Remember rediff’s infamous Hoohaa ad, followed by the unlimited ones. Zapak has also been a big TV advertiser. Indiatimes has been making me suspect if i have jaundice for sometime now. Strange, because, while i understand the reach of TV, I’ve never seen the big guys ever do TV (or have i missed something). Its only the locals + AOL who have been eating up TVC time. And except for rediff, I have never used any of them for my email use. (and that was before the ad) I’m quite happy with yahoo and gmail. More importantly, I’ve seen their advertising in the place where it matters – the web. Context, anyone?

So, I’m guessing, that AOL with those ‘young’ attitude ads was looking at reaching out to the youth audience (isn’t that who everyone’s after?) by showcasing its features in a fun way. While e-mail is the one of the best utlities to use as a carrot, I’ve a different idea for them. Bring Bebo here, lets have a solid ‘fatal fourway’ match with Orkut, Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo. If we include Big Adda, Minglebox, Yaari etc, its a royal rumble. Meanwhile, what AOL has to do is rope in Kareena Kapoor as brand evangelist.

Did i just catch a ‘Huh?’ from you? Okay, for those of you who look down on Bollywood gossip, Bebo happens to be Kareena’s (quite well known) nickname. Kareena would anyway make a good icon (for the guys because she’s hot, for the girls because she’s smart). Add to that her name connection and the Bollywood effect, and i think we might have some fun here. Imagine weaving in hits like ‘Jab we met’ (in her filmi life) and things like the Shahid Kapur mouth to mouth resuscitation MMS, the Saif gossip being exclusive content on the site, do you need to do extra things to get hits?

Meanwhile, to increase this weekend’s productivity, you can read a very neat post on SEO and SEM right here.

until next time, anyone expressing Aitraaz? 😀

Bill meets Mark

Posted in Brand, Internet, Social networking with tags , , , on February 26, 2008 by manuscrypts

Well, maybe Bill and Mark have met before in other contexts, but to actually have a promo of MS doing a facebook application in India is perhaps a first. And thats not all, there’s a game on zapak too.

‘Heroes Happen Here’ is the theme of the entire promo being done by MS. While the entire deal looks like a mash up (not literally) of information disseminaton & trials for Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 (do not close the window, i am as technologically challenged as you are on those) and community building, I, for one, am extremely envious of the brand/product guy who got to do this. It has stuff for IT professionals, developers and enthusiasts.

As you might have guessed, this blog is interested because of the way a social network and a gaming site have been weaved in to the communication strategy. Communication strategy, because i saw an ad for this, not on facebook, but on the rediff homepage. Which means that not only have they spent money on the game and the application, but they’re also spending on advertising the stuff. I say cool!!

I haven’t been able to add the application, but if you do, lemme know how it went.

 until next time, soft socialism